Kesia Estwick: Fashion is fun
Kesia Estwick, born and raised on the small island of Barbados, is a young, free-spirited designer known for her dark and daring style. As a child she was always playing dress-up, searching through her mother’s closet for whatever she could find – that, as well as wanting to dress other people.
And her dream has come true.
At the age of 20 Kesia has already shown at a number of events across the island, such as the popular Barbados Amateur Model Search and Bridgetown Barbados Fashion Week. Her edgy designs have captured the attention of theyoung and old and continue to win the hearts of Barbados’ fashionistas.
Kesia did the fashion-design associate programme at Barbados Community College after leaving the Lodge School.
“I always had a thing for creating my own looks and this programme fit right into what I wanted to do. Sadly, after the first year I developed tendonitis in my right wrist and stopped because of the strain. This, however, is what motivated me to start my own line; I refused to let it get me down.”
Her first big gig was The Barbados Amateur Model Search, by which she was “terrified but extremely excited.” But when she saw her collection coming downthe runaway, her face beamed with a big smile.
The name of her line is Kesia Estwick – easier, she decided, to stick with her own name. Her pieces range from day to evening wear for the mysterious, daring woman who is not afraid to step outside society’s comfort zone.
Kesia is now working on a new collection and loving how it is coming together. She also did a photo shoot of her last collection that showed at Barbados Fashion Week and is on pins and needles about the final outcome. She gets her design inspiration, she says, through music.
“There are certain songs that bring out the creativity. Two artistes/bandsthat inspire me are Phealeh and Disturbed.”
Kesia is adamant about not giving up even though the industry is not as easy as it seems. “There is so much that goes on behind a collection. It’s not just fabric-picking and sketching.”
And the most difficult part of running her own label? “Getting recognition.You really have to push hard to get yourself out there. Marketing is key and definitely the most difficult part for me.”
She says that the fashion industry is expensive, “though that wouldn’t have changed my mind or love for it”, and fabric is hard to find in Barbados to suit her tastes and needs “but there’s a little fabric store called Didiers in town; that’s my favourite place to shop”.
For Kesia, a lot of thought goes into each piece and depending on the garmentand style, it takes her a whole day to construct a lovely, detailed piece.
Staying true to who she is as a designer matters most to her and she says the best perk in being a designer is “being able to work with the many creative people in the industry, the make-up artistes and photographers and such”.
“I love being around it; the energy is lovely.”
Kesia says her own style is very edgy, contemporary punk and she shies aways from colours in her designs, sticking to black:?“If I could choose one colour to design with it would be black, because it’s a gorgeous colour and it goes with everything.”
Her favourite designers are the late Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Alexander Wang, and one day she hopes to see Rihanna and Victoria Beckhamwearing her pieces.